Expand local football talent pool with joint-venture teams

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has previously mentioned that the inclusion of foreign clubs in the S-League is to raise the standard of local football.

After so many years of having foreign clubs in the league, our football standard has not really improved, based on our current Fifa ranking of 148.

Are Brunei DPMM and Albirex Niigata really improving Singapore football? Are there any naturalised citizens among the players from those teams? How are they developing our football? Is the FAS subsidising those teams in any way?

If the FAS is still subsidising those teams by a small amount, it should at least ensure that they take in three to five Singaporeans as part of their team for development. The fewer Singaporeans they take in, the lower the subsidy should be.

While there has been much disappointment with previous foreign teams - such as Etoile and Beijing Guoan - there have been successful appointments, such as Shi Jiayi and Qiu Li, who contributed to the Singapore national team's Asean Football Federation cup wins. They were selected through their former team, Sinchi.

In fact, if the FAS thinks that we have a limited talent pool and need foreign teams, I have a suggestion.

We should consider having local joint venture teams with some foreign-affiliated teams, where the local side has a higher stake and at least 50 per cent of the team have to be made up of Singaporeans.

If they are able to field more than 50 per cent Singaporeans in the team in at least 75 per cent of their matches, they have a similar chance as the local teams to qualify for the Asian Football Confederation cup.

In this way, there will be more avenues for Singaporeans to play football professionally and, hence, increase the talent pool for the national team.

There will also be more potential foreign players who can become naturalised.

Ivan Goh Sian Lung